Freedom of Expression Statement Skip to main content

Freedom of Expression Statement

Approved by the Crafton Hills College Academic Senate on March 3rd, 2021

Because Crafton Hills College is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the Crafton Hills College community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. Except insofar as limitations on that freedom are necessary to the functioning of the operations of the college, Crafton Hills College fully respects and supports the freedom of all members of the college community “to discuss any problem that presents itself.”

 The ideas of different members of the Crafton Hills College community will often and quite naturally conflict. It is not the proper role of the college to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Crafton Hills College greatly values civility, and all members of the college community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect, concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community.

Blatant bullying, slurs, defamation, intimidation, and sexual harassment are acts of assault and shall not be protected by usurping the mantel of academic speech. In addition, Crafton Hills College may reasonably regulate the time, place, and manner of expression to ensure that it does not disrupt the ordinary activities of the college. The freedom to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas does not mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish. Crafton Hills College may restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, that unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the college. 

 But the aforementioned are narrow exceptions to the general principle of freedom of expression, and it is vitally important that these exceptions never be used in a manner that is inconsistent with Crafton Hills College’s commitment to a completely free and open discussion of ideas.

 As a corollary to Crafton Hills College’s commitment to protect and promote free expression, members of the college community must also act in conformity with the principle of free expression. Although members of the college community are free to criticize and contest the views expressed on campus, and to criticize and contest speakers who are invited to express their views on campus, they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe. To this end, Crafton Hills College has a solemn responsibility not only to promote lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.